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Norma Reviews

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"Norma is a rich, intimate character drama, a thoroughly satisfying piece of short storytelling, about love, music, and fighting for what you believe in. The story’s structure is clear, and the main character is very appealing."

"The overall concept is highly unique and offers a look into the struggles of a strong-headed and opinionated black woman being forced to decide between following her roots or shifting towards something more “mainstream” for white audiences. Her dilemma is heightened by the conflict with the black community in the balcony and the white community on the floor, thus giving it a visual conundrum for her to overcome."

"This is the sort of culturally specific story audiences are hungry to see, with the sort of stirring lead role actors will likely clamor for."

"Plot-wise, it’s a compelling start as we immediately realize her struggles with coming back into the spotlight and we see the immediate conflict and complications with Ray and the Promoter as they try and convince her to shift her music."

"Eugene is introduced really gracefully, and his point-of-view moment backstage is really exciting. We’re in suspense. What’s this guy going to do? Similar to Norma’s performance, the moment “Eugene sings the first line of his song as he’s being dragged out of the door" is so exciting and such a turning point in the story."

"Against the backdrop of 1930s New York, Norma explores the struggles of a Black, female blues artist resisting change while battling against the white music industry that stole her voice. Thematically the story reflects modern issues, like the ongoing struggle for the entertainment industry to be more representative of society’s talent. The external struggle between the old and new is woven into the story’s DNA too. For these reasons, it is easy to see the story’s themes and messages resonating with a modern audience."

"In fifteen pages, the script creates an entire world, filled with thoroughly appealing 

characters, and tracks a strong emotional journey in its hardheaded, empathetic 

protagonist."

"The dialogue feels true to the period. It is distinctive, and there are several small touches and turns of phrase that make the dialogue feel naturalistic and authentic, e.g. “I ain't stuntin' no new piece.” “Them saditty white folks”. The exposition is neatly delivered, too, through conflict. For example, the promoter’s angry dialogue organically conveys Norma is seen as a “has been."

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